JC MSFL Division 3:
Zig Zag 2 FC Team B 3
Not for the first time this season, FC Team B came from behind to seal a famous victory for the club as they gained promotion from Division 3 in a thrilling encounter with Zig Zag in Harrow Weald.
On another bright morning, FC Team B came charging out of the blocks and almost scored in the first minute from a Dave Silver effort that went just over the bar.
The next 20 minutes saw Team B dominate and play some flowing one touch football, but they failed to capitalise and from a long throw it was Zig Zag who took the lead when keeper Dave ‘Gordy’ Gordon was adjudged to have not had the ball in both hands and Joel Winton took advantage to stab the ball home from six yards.
1-0 to the Zeds against the run of play and Team B gave themselves extra work to do.
A similar pattern developed and just before the half hour ‘Gordy’ went in with the onrushing striker and clipped his legs and the ref pointed to the spot. However as the man was running away from goal Gordy correctly stayed on. Jonny Bluestone stepped up to take the penalty and coolly slotted home with a well taken penalty. 2-0 and Team B now had a mountain to climb.
The half seemed to be drawing to a close and despite Team B’s best efforts they struggled to get the ball on target. The Zig Zag keeper was dealing with everything in the air, giving Team B no change. But on 40 minutes, Team B got themselves a crucial lifeline. Long throw specialist Dom Berko launched one into the box, and the ball was only partially cleared by the Zeds defender. It fell to the feet of centre back James Korn on the left edge of the box, who showed great composure as he shifted the ball and with a predatory instinct rifled a low shot across the goal into the bottom right corner leaving the despairing keeper no chance. 2-1 and a crucial goal before half time scored by free-scoring Korn.
Both teams settled for the remaining minutes and the first half ended without any further chances.
After a calm team talk at half time from manager Ben Simon, Team B came out revved up for the second half and started off strongly with Dave Silver getting on the ball and causing the ZZ back line some problems.
However the Zeds strong centre midfielder Richard Winton was beginning to boss the game in the middle of the park and FC Team B had to weather some pressure from long throws followed by a scrappy period where neither team created any notable chances.
With the Team needing some freshening up, Max Graves gave way for Robbie Blair after a hard working performance after 60 minutes and Mikey Marks exited for Jules Noti, continuing his comeback from a long term injury. The addition of Noti seemed to boost the boys in Yellow and Blue and they started to boss the midfield as ZZ began to retreat in defence of their slender advantage. The third and final substitution came shortly before the 70 minute mark and saw Adam ‘Mr Rose’ Rosenfeld replace Dave Wexler up front for the last 20.
At 2-1, the next goal was going to be a crucial one, and after 75 minutes it came from something a little bit special. From a foul near the right by line just outside the area, Gideon Moss - captain in Mitch Young’s absence – whipped in a powerful pinpoint delivery and supersub ‘Mr Rose’ – on for only five minutes – made a darting run to the penalty spot and rose highest in the box and brilliantly powered a header into the roof of the net with the keeper helpless to save it due to the sheer power and direction. A brilliant goal that sent the fans wild, knowing that the goal kept their title chances in their own hands.
2-2 and game on. 15 minutes to go and it only looked like there was going to be one winner as Team B poured forward at every opportunity and ZZ sat deeper and deeper. Chances came and went though, with first Sheldon Conrich taken down when taking it round the keeper outside the area and then a clever shot by Berko just going wide. That was followed by a lob from livewire Silver which just evaded the crossbar.
Controversy followed when a handball from a ZZ player looked to be in the box but the referee pointed to the edge of the box and the free kick was missed.
With the clock winding down, it was looking like for all Team B’s late pressure, the game was heading for a 2-2 draw. FC Team B though, with the never-say-die attitude that has taken them so far this season, found a moment of inspiration in the 91st minute. After Noti won a free kick 10 yards inside the Zeds half, the management urged everyone to pour forward in search of a winner. With the box crowded and the clock ticking down, Moss lined up from over 45 yards and fired a ball deep into the box. With the box filled with jostling players, the ball kept going and the keeper, who had been so solid all game, made a desperate attempt to palm the ball away but it evaded his stretch and nestled into the roof of the net via the crossbar sending the players, management and fans into ecstatic and jubilant celebrations. The scenes were wild as they mobbed the goalscorer and cheered, almost in disbelief at the events unfolding.
3-2 and if they could hold on it would be a famous comeback. Once the players had settled down they then knuckled down and focussed on keeping Zig Zag at bay for the remainder of injury time. And despite a couple of late, late long throws into the Team B box, the defence held firm and with the final whistle came the realisation that FC Team B had secured promotion to Division Two in the most remarkable and dramatic game imaginable.
After the match, FC Team boss Ben Simon said, "What can I say? It was a great effort from everyone involved today. To clinch promotion is a great achievement for us. We made it unnecessarily hard for ourselves with the two goals conceded and left it late to get the win, but we have an unbelievable team spirit and a never-say-die attitude and that is what got us through in the end. "We’ll enjoy today, but we still have one game left and we won’t be celebrating anything just yet as there is still more hard work to be done."